Celebrating Armed Forces Day - meet some of our ex-military colleagues
Discover some of our inspiring career stories through a selection of Barclaycard Payments colleagues. Each colleague in our ‘Before Barclays’ series has a unique and enlightening story to tell about quite a different profession which led them to working in the financial sector.
We begin the series in support of Armed Forces Day. Barclays is proud to mark Armed Forces Day which takes place on Saturday 26 June, to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
We caught with Peter, Iain, Simon and Tom, all ex-military, who undertook the award winning Barclays Military Talent Scheme and who were happy to share their experiences working for the British Armed Forces.
“My personal highlight was receiving an MBE by HM The Queen for my service in Afghanistan”
Peter works in the Barclaycard Payments Business Management team. Prior to this, he served for 20 years as an Intelligence Officer in the British Army.
Peter said, “I proudly served alongside some incredible people and organisations, taking operational tours of The Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq and east Africa. In my final few years I was lucky enough to support the United Nations and civilian charities in the fight against animal poaching in southern and west Africa.”
He continued, “To this day I remain inspired by an operational environment I worked in. A disparate setup of small teams across the globe was underpinned by a classless society, where all were empowered and where a culture of ‘shared consciousness’ permeated the staff. Much like at Barclays.
“A personal highlight was being awarded an MBE by Her Majesty The Queen, for my service in Afghanistan after the events of 11 September, and receiving the US Bronze Star medal while attached to US Forces in Baghdad from 2006 to 2007. I also held the highest national security clearances and contributed to Government strategy, providing briefings to three Prime Ministers (Tony Blair in 2001, Gordon Brown in 2007 and David Cameron 2012).
“What I’ve taken from my military career, is that ‘variety is the spice of life’. It certainly captures my experience in service. You never quite knew what was around the corner and, of course, there’s a real sense of purpose and pride in serving Queen and country.”
“I spent 30 plus years in the Royal Navy as a weapon and combat systems engineer”
Iain works in Barclaycard Payments, as part of the Data & Strategic Analytics (DASA) team. Prior to this, he spent more than 30 years in the Royal Navy as a weapon and combat systems engineer.
Iain explains: “As well as serving in different ‘classes’ of navy ships (frigates), destroyers and aircraft carriers, I had a variety of roles in engineering to support warship and system acquisition, HR planning and strategic portfolio management, including three years on exchange with the US Navy in Virginia.
“Similar to being at Barclays, what I enjoyed most about being in the Royal Navy was being part of a team - a very large team. I also like the variety, travel and constant challenges, but most importantly working with motivated people in support of a common goal.”
“I’ve taught skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking at some testing environments around the world”
Simon’s an Implementation and Process Manager at Barclaycard Payments. Prior to joining Barclays in June 2018, he served in the Royal Navy for 12 years.
“Initially I trained as an Aircraft Engineer working on complex airborne surveillance and control helicopters,” said Simon.
He continues: “I then chose to specialise in enhancing the capabilities of military personnel as an ‘Adventurous Training’ Instructor through the use of activities like skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking and kayaking - at some testing environments around the world.
“I most liked having the opportunity to coach and mentor colleagues, and assist them to develop and grow, ultimately increasing their own and professional capabilities. A skill that I’ve taken with me into Barclays is effective stakeholder engagement and management, which has been extremely useful and transferrable - albeit in a difference context and setting.”
“I was posted to the US Army in Oklahoma, and then to Estonia on the Russian border to support artillery missions”
Tom is a Strategy Manager in Barclaycard Payments. Before joining Barclays, he spent eight years as a Captain in the Royal Artillery for the British Army.
Tom said: “The great thing about working for the Army is the variety of experiences you’re given. I was posted to the US Army in Oklahoma as a liaison officer to improve joint deployment tactics, and have also led a team of specialist soldiers in Estonia (on the Russian border) to support artillery missions.”
He continues: “I also had a variety of UK postings, leading our air surveillance and tactical data usage, interfacing into NATO systems. These roles gave me a wealth of experience in operational deployment, making data driven decisions and being resilient in the face of (extreme!) pressure.
“The Army is really good at getting you to think of the bigger picture. It’s about looking beyond the task that you are doing and how it fits into the bigger picture of what the organisation is trying to achieve. I love to keep expanding into bigger and more diverse challenges.
“I was able to work with people that I really enjoyed spending time with, and who were also really good at their job. Similar to Barclays, it’s all about teamwork, communication and mutual respect, and I like that I’ve found that here too - it’s all about the people!”
Thank you to Peter, Iain, Simon and Tom for giving us an insight into their military past. We’ll be sharing some more ‘Before Barclays’ career stories soon that delve into a variety of vocations that led colleagues to Barclays.
Peter, Iain, Simon and Tom joined Barclays after successfully completing the Military Talent Scheme, one of the initiatives delivered by Barclays Military & Veterans Outreach (MVO). MVO is Barclays’ interface with all facets of our Armed Forces communities, supporting serving personnel, veterans, reservists and the wider military family.
The Military Talent Scheme is open to anyone still serving and in their final six to 12 months of service. MVO welcomes applications from all ranks and all services. For further information, please visit the Military & Veteran Outreach site.